In recent years, though the legalization of marijuana in some states has experienced increasing support, the reduction for penalties involving marijuana possession in opposing states, like the state of Texas, has not seen comparable exponential backing. Friday, the Texas House Criminal Jurisprudence Committee rejected House Bills 507, 325 and 414, all distinguished by the objective to lesson penalties for possession of marijuana. Currently, Texas law stipulates that those found in possession of up to two ounces of marijuana would be subject to punishment of up to 180 days in jail, a $2,000 fine, or both.
Though receiving the most endorsement of the three proposals, bill 507 failed on a 3-2 vote. In lieu of the threat of arrest, jail time and a criminal record for anyone caught possessing of up to one ounce of marijuana, this bill would make the infraction a civil offense, requiring a $100 penalty payment. According to sponsor Rep. Joe Moody (D-El Paso), the committee may reassess bill 507 due to the absence of two supporting and influential committee members during the hearing.
House Bill 325 and 414 would have made possession of up to .35 ounces and one ounce of marijuana, respectively, confined to a $500 fine and no jail penalty; both are unlikely to experience any further advancement within the House. News of this rejection doesn’t serve as promising indicators for the ratification of Bill 2165. Which would nullify all marijuana offenses and convert cannabis into a regulated crop in the state of Texas. The success or failure of this bill remains unascertained as it currently still pending within the House.
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